Cases of hepatitis B and C hit 325 million: WHO

The World Health Organization's latest hepatitis report identifies the condition as a grave public health threat that needs an "urgent response."

By: AFP | Geneva | Published:April 21, 2017 9:33 pm

An estimated 325 million people are living with hepatitis B or C and few are aware of their condition, with death tolls from the viruses rising, the UN said on Friday. The World Health Organization’s latest hepatitis report identifies the condition as a grave public health threat that needs an “urgent response.”

Hepatitis killed 1.34 million people in 2015, a toll roughly in-line with HIV and tuberculosis. But in contrast to HIV and TB, hepatitis deaths are increasing, WHO said, recording a 22 per cent mortality rise from 2000 to 2014.

Hepatitis is often symptom free, but types B and C can trigger liver cirrhosis and cancer if untreated. Lack of awareness among those infected is driving the virus’s spread.

For hepatitis B — which is spread through bodily fluids like blood and semen — only nine percent of those infected know their status. And for hepatitis C, primarily spread through blood, just 20 per cent of those infected are aware of their condition.

Lack of access to testing and treatment leaves “millions of people at risk of a slow progression to chronic liver disease, cancer and death”, WHO said in a statement. The hepatitis B problem is most acute in the WHO’s Western Pacific Region, which includes China, Malaysia and southeast Asia. An estimated 115 million people in the region have the virus. Second worst is Africa, with 60 million hepatitis B cases.

An effective vaccine exists for hepatitis B. WHO’s latest data shows that hepatitis C — for which there is no vaccine — is most commonly spread through unsafe injections, notably among drug users.

Europe and the eastern Mediterranean region are afflicted with the most hepatitis C cases at 14 million and 15 million respectively. WHO is trying to ramp up the global hepatitis response, aiming to treat some 80 percent of sufferers worldwide by 2030.

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  1. M
    Mariel Mariel
    Jun 13, 2017 at 3:04 am
    I want to share this wonderful testimony to the people all over the world on how i was cured of Hepa is b disease by MED LAB, I'm from Philippine but living in Canada, i was living with hepa is b for the past 10 years, just last month as i was browsing on the internet about this deadly disease, i saw a testimony of someone testifying of how he was cured from chronic hepa is b, by MED LAB and i decided to also email medlab36 com and explain my problem, and they responded to me, then they send the medicine to me through delivery service. i was given instructions on how to use the treatment for somedays and after the days given to me, i went for Hepa is b test which i did and to my greatest surprise i was confirmed negative. all thanks be to MED LAB and God almighty for curing me of this deadly disease after 10 years and if you know that you are in this same problem email MED LAB now via email medlab36 com
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  2. M
    Mariel Mariel
    Jun 13, 2017 at 3:02 am
    I want to share this wonderful testimony to the people all over the world on how i was cured of Hepa is b disease by MED LAB, I'm from Philippine but living in Canada, i was living with hepa is b for the past 10 years, just last month as i was browsing on the internet about this deadly disease, i saw a testimony of someone testifying of how he was cured from chronic hepa is b, by MED LAB and i decided to also email medlab36 and explain my problem, and they responded to me, then they send the medicine to me through delivery service. i was given instructions on how to use the treatment for somedays days and after the days given to me, i went for Hepa is b test which i did and to my greatest surprise i was confirmed negative. all thanks be to MED LAB and God almighty for curing me of this deadly disease after 10 years and if you know that you are in this same problem email MED LAB now via email medlab36
    Reply